It’s nearly Memorial Day, so naturally this is an excellent time to talk about my birthday… from 4 months ago! Yes, this post is long overdue, but I’m gonna write it anyway because I hit a milestone this year! And because the festivities were damn fun!
The new year, you may recall, is birthday season – my dad, the Husband, and of course Twinnie and me. The Little wraps up the party season with her own celebratory ideas and a fete fitting her sass and charm. With all these birthdays comes a LOT. OF. CAKE.
Anyway, as I approach the big 4-0, there are only two things I want: to be with Twinnie on the actual day and a party where I get to wear heels and a party dress. Sounds pretty reasonable, right? …on paper. The reality, on the other hand, was a bit tricky given those two occasions were only 48 hours apart in cities 800 miles apart!
Perhaps I ought to explain why spending our birthday together is a big deal to me. As a twin, I always celebrated my birthday with my other half. We had joint parties, opened our gifts together, picked our cakes together. It wasn’t till college that we ever spent a birthday apart! We instead settled for Twinnie’s early morning phone call when she would blurt out, “Happy birthday, I’m older than you!”
Skip ahead to when we turned 30 – on a Saturday! For the first time since college we lived near each other (a few hours away is close for us!) So when she said I want to throw a party in New York, I said SIGN ME UP!
Twinnie booked a party room in the 40/40 club in Manhattan – you know, the one owned by Jay Z. No, we didn’t see him that night, but we obviously dubbed it the 30/30 club for the night, invited a bunch of friends (I even had some fly in from Chicago!) to celebrate with us and the whole thing was a blast.
A decade later, after a few moves and 4 kids between us, it just isn’t realistic to think that we can be together each year on our birthday. But I turned Twinnie on to the idea of being together at least for the big birthdays – I’m thinking the 0s and 5s. Sounds doable, right?
In the months approaching our 40th birthday, we quickly settled on meeting in NY again and hitting the very same club! A Thursday birthday, with kids and husbands and jobs to manage certainly made planning a bit trickier, but we got it done! The Husband ran the show at home and I took off for less than 48 hours of birthday-ing.
Ah, but you see, I didn’t adventure alone! Back in December at a Happy Hour brunch, Uncle D decided to book a ticket for Jenn to join me in New York! Wednesday before my birthday, we dropped the kids at school and headed to the airport for a quick girls’ getaway. Hopefully it’s our first of many.
The last hours of my thirties couldn’t have been better. My best friend from college, we’ll call him Banks, picked us up and we spent the afternoon running Dad duty and hanging at the house. No need to go find a cool bar; they have the best home bar I’ve ever seen!
While I would have loved waking up to my own family on my birthday, starting the day with dear friends was a fantastic alternative. Banks woke me so I could see the kids off to school and then we went for coffee. After our leisurely morning of manicures, hanging out and a lot of laughs, Jenn and I hopped a train and headed into Manhattan to meet up with Twinnie.
After a yummy dinner of Korean BBQ, we got ready and headed over to the club, with a few friends in tow. Wow, a decade later and I didn’t even recognize the place! It didn’t hurt that most folks aren’t partying on a Thursday night…. at 9! But champagne and cocktails with my Twinnie and our friends, who even cares who else was there, really?
Bright and early the next day, Jenn and I hustled back to the airport and back home… to more winter and a car stuck in the snow drifts. Thank goodness Jenn is a born and bred New Englander who coached me through getting out of O’Hare safely. That’s important! We had to get home to unpack and get ready for the birthday bash the following night!
That brings us right up to my other birthday wish – a party so I can wear heels and a party dress! The Husband did so well! He hired not one, but two sitters to watch our kids plus Gina’s and then we headed out!
The Hubby did an amazing job fulfilling this birthday wish – he organized a cocktail party at a whiskey bar! Whiskey and high heels and people I love dearly in a beautiful bar, it was just perfect. It was fantastic to see a bunch of my favorite people get dressed up for me.
Our server remembered that I love their blood orange whiskey martini (I’m sorry I don’t have a pic to share here!) and just kept them coming! I even told her my plan to drink water between drinks and she helped me stick to that. My big mistake, though, (other than not eating enough!) was not telling her I wanted to switch to whiskey neat after one cocktail: oops. Hangover city.
Honestly, after a few drinks the evening is a blur of hugs and laughs and flitting between groups of my friends. I’m told that as we were preparing to wrap up, the server insisted on one more for the Birthday Girl. Uncle D and the Husband immediately came to my rescue! They stood on either side of me and cleverly asked about my drink. Naturally, I handed it over and they quickly polished off all but the last drops with me none the wiser.
A couple other antics from the night: I toppled sideways into a snowbank when we got back to the house! Pretty much right after that, with Gina’s help, I crawled out of my party clothes and into bed and missed the last bits of the festivities. This included a second birthday cake made by the Husband – and topped with 40 gilded candles!
The following morning, we hosted survivors’ brunch – coffee and monkey bread and more with whoever felt up for it! Well, I sort of made it there – does it count if I curled up under a blanket on the sofa while our friends and kids feasted?
What an incredible birthday week – there’s really no great way to articulate how deeply grateful I am to my friends and family for celebrating with me and for entertaining my birthday wishes and antics!